Thursday, March 23, 2017

What Would Le Corbusier do? 3 Ways to Light a Hallway!

This article is provided by Ema Hobs.

Swiss architect Le Corbusier explored form, relief and functionality in his architectural works. “Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep,” Le Corbusier believed. Without enough “space and light and order,” man stood to lose his health and happiness.

Le Corbusier said that “a house is a machine for living in,” and his architectural designs proved his theory. The Villa Savoye À Poissy, designed by the architect close to a century ago was designed with functionality and cleanliness in mind. The house was meant to fuse form and function (every modern designer’s end goal) to create an elemental design using the “newest technology”. The house was meant to be clean, sophisticated and well-lit, which brings us to the purpose of this article: to light our hallways in such a way as that Le Corbusier would approve. 

Lighting the Hallway Like Le Corbusier

Natural lighting was très important to Le Corbusier as he believed natural lighting helped human beings to attain vitality and health. In the hallway or entryway of your home, you will want to make sure the natural light of the space is not impeded by the electrical. 

If your hallway or entryway has large windows or a skylight, use them as a natural source in your home. Keep the blinds open and adjust them to the setting sun. To keep the effect of the natural light, layer your light sources in the hallway. To layer the light sources, you will want a mixture of overhead, ambient and task lighting. This can be accomplished with an overhead pendant light and a table lamp or floor lamp. Natural lighting, even if helped by your modern lighting fixtures will trick your mind into believing it is completely natural, keeping your circadian rhythm in check and making your home look and feel comfortable and inviting. 

The hallway serves as a transitory space and its function should not be jeopardized to better complement a furniture or artwork in the space. This is something people want to do, believing it necessary to imbibe every room in the house with some sort of statement piece or fashionable décor item. 

Le Corbusier’s architecture shows that these things are unnecessary in designing an elegant, functional and modern home. Rooms should be used for their designed purpose, otherwise they are merely adding to the detriment of society. Le Corbusier said that “light creates ambience and feel of a place, as well as the expression of a structure.” Remember, modernists are all about making things better by designing products and buildings with a form that follows its function. If the form is manipulated, its function is lost. The hallway, again, serves as a connecting space between rooms in the house. You do not want your guests standing idly in the hallway chatting, if they want to visit, it should be done in the living room.

Light the hallway so that it helps its users to understand that it is a transitional space. You can do this with wall sconces. Wall sconces placed in a processional order will help the user to understand that they need to keep going to reach the final destination and to know that the hallway is not it. 

At this point you might be thinking, wait a minute. I do not have a lot of natural light in my hallway or for that, much of a hallway. You can still follow the advice above, just tweak it to meet your needs. You can use a pendant light in the hallway for overhead light or recessed lighting set on a dimmer switch, so that you can control the lighting levels. Le Corbusier believed in using modern technology to create highly-functional and livable spaces. Using dimmer switches in the hallway would play right into that and give you full charge of the lighting levels.

Your hallway acts as a transitional space in the home, make sure it is following its functional design properly.

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